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BioFrontiers Seminar: Michael DeGiorgio, University of CA Berkeley
Start Date: 1/15/2013Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 1/15/2013End Time: 5:00 PM
Event Description:
Dr. Michael DeGiorgio will give a talk Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 4:00P in the Butcher Auditorium in the JSCB Building, East campus, Room A115.

“Using models of evolutionary history to understand human genetic variation”
ABSTRACT: The study of genetic variation is fundamental to population and evolutionary genetics, as it provides the basis for understanding differences among individuals, populations, and species. My research focuses on discerning the demographic and adaptive processes that have shaped the current distribution of genetic variation in human populations. To address demographic processes, I investigated the extent to which models of human origins are consistent with observed patterns. I developed models of human demographic history to represent two main hypotheses for modern human origins, the "out-of-Africa" and "multiregional" hypotheses. Using simulations and analytical formulas under the coalescent process, I compared measures of genetic variation observed from human data to those predicted by our models. I found that the model representing the out-of-Africa hypothesis produces patterns that mimic those observed in human data, whereas the model representing the multiregional hypothesis generates opposite patterns, lending strong support to the out-of-Africa hypothesis. Next, I considered adaptive forces shaping human genetic variation. One force that was of great theoretical interest in the past but has received little attention recently, particularly in terms of method development, is balancing selection. I designed the first set of likelihood-based methods that explicitly model the genealogical process under balancing selection using a coalescent framework. Simulation results show that my methods for detecting balancing selection are robust to demography and are the most powerful developed to date. Application of these new methods to whole-genome sequencing data from human populations revealed evidence of balancing selection at previously-hypothesized regions such as the HLA locus, as well as at many novel candidate sites across the genome. Thus, mathematical models play an important role in understanding the demographic and adaptive processes that shape genetic variation in human populations. for more information about Dr. DeGiorgio’s research.

Seminar will also be streaming live at 
Silverlight player is required to view the video

Reception to follow in the JSCBB Atrium

Anyone with a valid Eco pass can ride the Stampede bus that runs between campuses. The Stampede has been set up to run in a two way direction every 10 minutes. Bus stops for this line are located on 18th street and along Colorado Avenue. There are bus stops in front of JSCBB on the north and south side of Colorado Ave. If coming by bicycle or by foot you can either take the Boulder Creek Path (just past 30th street you will come to where the path goes south to JSCBB) or travel east along Colorado Avenue. If you bike in, there are covered and uncovered bike corrals. Bikes are not allowed in the building so be sure to bring your lock. If you prefer to drive, there is metered parking located on the northwest side and the southeast side of JSCBB that takes credit cards or coin.
Location Information:
East Campus - Caruthers Biotechnology Building  (View Map)
1201 Innovation Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
Room: A115
Contact Information:
Name: Emilia Costales
Phone: (303) 735-3001
BioFrontiers Seminar Series
This event is open to
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